Fuming Conte cancels Inter press conference because media ‘lack respect’ just days after Corriere dello Sport front page – The Sun

ANTONIO CONTE has cancelled a press conference just days after Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport published a front page which ignited a race row.

The 50-year-old's rage comes following the paper's decision to use a headline 'Black Friday' alongside images of Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku.

The publication has since been banned by Serie A sides AC Milan and Roma.

A statement was released before Conte's press conference which explained why he would not be there ahead of their trip to Fiorentina tomorrow.

It read: “Yesterday, from the Corriere dello Sport, an offensive letter was published against our coach, justifying the attack in the comment.

"To give a signal to all the media 'that must guarantee the respect of the people' today the press conference will not be held."

Smalling and Lukaku had already given their reactions to the front page, which caused uproar in Italy.

Lukaku said: "Instead of focusing on a battle between two teams… Correire dello Sport comes with the dumbest of headlines I have ever seen in my career.

"You guys keep fuelling the negativity and the racism issue instead of talking about the beautiful game that's going to be played at the San Siro between two great clubs.

"Education is key. You guys at Corriere dello Sport should do a better job that that."

Inter currently sit top of the table in Italy, two points ahead of Juventus, who have won the title for the last eight consecutive seasons.

And Smalling added: “Whilst I would have liked to spend the day focusing on the big game tomorrow, it is important that I acknowledge that what occurred this morning was wrong and highly insensitive.

“I hope the editors involved in running this headline take responsibility and understand the power they possess through words, and the impact those worlds can have.”

There have been a number of racist incidents in Italy so far this campaign, an issue that has put a dark cloud over the sport.

Brescia fans released a statement calling their own player Mario Balotelli 'arrogant' after he was subject to racist abuse, while Lukaku reported racial abuse himself back in November.

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